Best of The Expo: Swedge Swing Trainer

We continue our coverage of the PGA Expo in Las Vegas with our picks for our favorite products found at the show, starting with the Swedge by Avid Golf.

Sean, the editor of PutterZone.com, takes it from here:

The best golf aids are often the simplest ones. Enter the Swedge, a small pillow that you tuck into the armpit of your dominant arm, helping you stay connected through your swing.

I just happen to be plagued by the very problem that the Swedge aims to correct: the flying elbow, a.k.a. the dreaded chicken wing. In other words, I fight the urge to swing with my arms instead of my body.

A common tip from instructors is to jam a towel or headcover into your armpit before taking your backswing, and trying to keep it there as you swing back and through. With the Swedge, however, you can leave your towel on your bag and your covers on your clubs, and use something that is specifically designed for the task at hand.

The Swedge is the brainchild of entrepreneur Dana Clark, who got the idea after her friend and instructor, Winnie Sewell, prescribed the towel drill during a lesson. With input from Winnie, Dana spent two years researching and creating the Swedge ($29), a washable half-moon pillow with a nylon casing and a clip that attaches to your bag.

During the expo, I have the good fortune to encounter Winnie at the Swedge booth. She greets me with a ready smile and shows me how the Swedge works. Next thing you know, I’m peppering her with questions and sharing my own swing flaws. She happily gives me an impromptu lesson, using the Swedge to help me better feel the sensation of staying connected.

In those few minutes, I can tell that Winnie is an awesome instructor, and that the Swedge is a legitimate tool that can help a lot of golfers develop better swing mechanics.

Stay tuned in the days ahead for more picks for the best products from the PGA Expo, featuring everything from swing trainers to exercise equipment to new putters. These products are all made by entrepreneurs, folks who built their own businesses by themselves, not because of red tape, but in spite of it. We met one inventor who spent eight years refining and testing his product before bringing it to the market. We met a woman who created a magnificent training aid from scratch, turning a mere idea into a retail product, which is no small feat. We encountered up-and-comers in the putter world, burning rubber on interstate, their initial creations stowed in the trunk of their car. This is the spirit of golf, and it is alive and well.

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